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one time. Eland also congregate in herds of about 100 and are certainly a good choice for lions, as are wildebeest, zebra and waterbuck. Naturally, with the abundance of ready prey, predator populations of lion, leopard, cheetah, jackal and hyena are robust!
Huge herds of elephant can be seen, seeking the shade of the trees in the morning, heading out to forage in the afternoons, and feeding on the rich, moist reeds and grasses of the floodplains, which are accessible most of the year.
It is reported that rhino, sable, roan antelope and buffalo once existed in the Tuli but are currently regionally extinct - a sad result of poorly regulated commercial hunting in the 19th century. Giraffes were also once on this list. However small numbers were reintroduced in 1984/5, have bred very successfully, and in the last game count in 2017 there were an impressive 690 giraffes.
For the bird enthusiasts, 350 bird species have been recorded in the area! Especially impressive are the Red-billed Quelea colonies, and vast numbers of storks at certain times of year. Others often sighted include the African Fish Eagle, Pel’s fishing owl, Dusky lark, Bronze winged courser, Senegal lapwing and Dwarf bittern.
Excavations have revealed evidence of a long history of human occupation in this area, from as early as 700-900 AD, thought to be by the Zhizo people. Rock paintings show proof of the San people once having lived here, and more recently it was also occupied by the Babirwa, who roamed the plains of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, following good feeding grounds for their livestock.
Right: A Large-leaf rock fig (Ficus abutilifolia) weaves its roots on a basalt dyke that used to form a lake on the Motloutse river. The area is known as Solomon’s wall.
Facing page right: A leopard rests at the base of a Nyala tree on the banks of the Majale river as it meanders to the Limpopo river. The Nyala tree, known locally as the Mashatu tree, is prolific along the various river systems in the Tuli block.
Below: The Tuli block is made up of diverse habitats including wide open plains, perfect habitat for cheetahs of which there is a healthy population. This female cheetah and her four sub-adult cubs were resting on the banks of a river – providing great opportunity for an elevated photo.

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